Posts Tagged ‘ALP’

The Author is going indoor bowling.

July 24, 2017
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Our kitchen of ‘give and take’

While sitting in front of the computer dispensing words of comfort if not wisdom, can be very fulfilling, there needs to be interaction with people in the flesh as well. We are not all islands on one’s own although with age, one gets the sneaking impression it might not be all that bad. Just reading this morning that my car is fitted with faulty airbags. In America a man was found dead in his car with his face so badly lacerated, police thought he had been shot at close range. It was a faulty airbag!

Of all the things that death might come to visit me one day, to have had life finished by a faulty airbag is about as futile and ineffectual as it can get. One can just imagine the grandchildren going through the Oosterman’s heritage finding out Grandpa died by an exploding airbag. A cunning one could well add, ‘he always was.’

It was with the insightfulness of not having enough real-life people around that I felt something should be done to meet more people.  H. said on a few occasions ‘You are cranky lately, and not easy to live with’, followed by  ‘you used to make me laugh.’ This last one bit me. I knew it was serious.

Some time ago I joined the local Labor Party, but it was held in one of those musty Halls of Women’s Christian Fellowship. The moment one stepped in, the wafting of aged doilies and stale biscuits, forlorn plastic bouquets fading in forgotten corners, Christian dust to dust photos and so much more would greet one inconsolably.  On top of it all are my hearing impairments, making the whispered minutes of the last meeting inaudible. I went twice and with all the support of keeping the refugees locked up by Labor as well, I quit and joined the Greens. It still did not really result in more people contact. It was too sporadic.

Of course, the daily walk with Milo often brought bystanders to stop and ask if they could pat him. Only last week, a man stopped who was wearing very thick gloves. I noticed them and thought it a good opportunity to talk about gloves; where are they from, what are they made off, where did you buy them? I wrought the conversation out as long as possible and went home wiser about gloves. I even bought a pair.

It was in the afterthought of H’s remark of getting about more, that I took the decision to join something of a more physical nature. In my foolish youth, so many decades ago, I was always amused to walk past the East-Balmain outdoor bowling club. The ridiculously white uniformed Bowlers, all bending over to bowl, showing bulging bums and possible medical devices compensating amputations or irritating bowel syndromes.

The sport seemed to attract the retirees who on a Sunday could combine all this bending over sport with a couple of beers with ham and cheese wedged-sandwiches ( no crusts). Later on, those sandwiches as a result of Slavic incursions could well contain garlic and gherkins. I even remember stalking past seeing platters of olives doing the rounds.  I swore never ever to reach an impasse in my life that involved becoming a member of this white uniformed bending over bowling fraternity.

And yet, it has come about, dear readers. I joined the Mittagong RSL and this Wednesday join the Moss-Vale RSL ( Returned Soldiers League)indoor bowling club. I have reached the age of Bending Down (or over) to Bowl. I loved my first bowling day yesterday and even took to the cubed sandwiches. Ham and cheese. It was all a rather casual affair. Vaughan, a wiry haired gentleman, explained to me the basics of the game. It included that the balls that one bowls with are weight-biased. Anything biased takes my attention. I took to it like a duck to water. I love how the game includes the bending over and how this bias can be used to advantage in order to get to the aimed destination. It is surprisingly skilful AND both sexes play together. Banter is the norm. No uniforms or protocols. Being mainly elderly players, there is no fuss.  Nice people.

I have reached the age of Bowling.



The letter of disappointment and resignation.

July 17, 2014

 Some time back

Some time back

Dear Mr/Mrs ALP (Australian Labor Party)

So far you have outlined nothing but self opinionated ,pompous and belittling assertions to me, based that truth is your ultimate aim in preserving your Newsletter. A bewildering response and not just to me! Fair enough so far. I do think that the chucking of a fire extinguisher or words of a pregnant lady uttered in 1976 or ‘77 would not really be that significant in the readers mind of 2014. However, I have followed your advice on seeking council and lined up all those that have read Oscar Wilde’s ‘A picture of Dorian Grey’ and consequently rebuked them for enjoying at tale that is nothing but a grotesque lie. No picture will age while the sitter stays young and immortal. They all responded they don’t care about ‘truth’ but do care about the beauty and poetry of the tale. They wanted to be enthralled and captivated. Can you see what I am getting at Mr/Mrs ALP?

While your assertion that factual truth in preserving the dignity and worth of your Newsletter is all important and seems to be obsessively overriding all else, you seem to forget or ignore that the readers want to be able to sustain enough interest to read what has been written. In that you fail, especially in your own contributions. Your overly lengthy and turgid style destroys whatever truth you are trying to convey to your readers. Your last contribution at the beginning of the Newsletter proves the point. It defies anyone to read it till the end without the reader losing the will to keep on living. Surely you must know that. So ALP, weigh up your Newsletter and its future. Try and get more life into it, get writers that can tell truth and at the same time install a ‘Dorian grey quality’ keep the readers captivated and engaged. It is a creative gift not given to everyone including myself with a difference that I am not bound, like you seem to, to truth to exclusion of everything else.

Unlike you, I was fifteen when arriving here and did not have English as my Mother tongue and did not start writing till asked in 2008 by the ABC to contribute to ‘ABC Unleashed’. I had about forty pieces published and fully paid for. I am proud of that.
As for your repeated but somewhat disparaging assertions about ‘blogosphere’ and ‘Aldi’s biscuits versus Arnott’, there is a lot there but I am not a psychiatrist.

In the meantime I am happy to pay the forty dollars. Tell me how to do this. Please, do not send me anymore Newsletters. I have resigned from the ALP. I do hope you have it in you to search your soul if not your heart…. and wonder why? But…. at another time.



ALP Party politics no more.

July 17, 2014


If ever there is an incentive to resign from a political party it would have to be meeting the people that are running them. I thought I would dip my toes in the water and some three months ago, again decided to join the Local Branch of the Australian Labour Party here in the Southern Highlands.

Some many years ago I belonged to the same party but let it lapse when the monthly meetings seemed to be mainly about protocol, pre-selection fights or endless passing of minutes of previous meetings contested by some. It seemed to drag on forever. The ennui was overwhelming. Almost as bad as watching cricket.

Having just gone to my second meeting and having had some discourse with one of the leaders I have decided to give it a miss again. There is nothing worse than trying to regain of what has passed. I have resigned from the ALP but am considering now joining the Greens. At least they are concerned about the dreadful plight of refugees and more importantly the state of our planet. The old ALP stalwart warrior that I had admired but from a distance, turned out to be nothing but a huge disappointment at closer range.

He, the ALP leader always had his critics, especially after he wrote a book.

A major self absorbed ageing shadow of earlier years. Perhaps he was always like that but I was just taken in by a kind of Stockholm syndrome. He might well have always been the Emperor without clothes. A man now obsessed with taking revenge at the political world he once resided in and which now, no doubt, affords him a handsome pension.. A master of endless rants and boring rhetoric steeped in the past.

Good riddance and goodbye ALP.

The Meeting at 8pm

May 13, 2014


It was to start at 8pm, Monday the 12th of May. It was the beginning of a frosty night when I parked my car at the front of the CWA building opposite the police station here in Moss Vale. I noticed a few men entering and I knew I would not just be the sole person to turn up. It took me back many years when I used to be a member of the ALP, back in the time of Whitlam and his sacking. “Maintain your rage” we were advised. Some of us did.

I decided to re-join, even if just for the camaraderie or commoraderie as it was more known for in those earlier years of brawls and fisticuffs. It was during the late seventies, early eighties. I remember a fire extinguisher being hurled out of the Balmain town-hall where a meeting was being held. A burly man in the back of the queue during a joining of new members shouted “make way for a pregnant woman”, while shoving people around. “You’re not fucking pregnant,” someone shouted, before all hell broke loose and the mentioned fire extinguisher thrown through the window, lights switched off and the books were stolen. That was the time when the factions between left and right wings were coming to a head.

Last night I was warmly welcomed by a few including an old ALP warrior and fighter from way back, Rodney Cavalier who now lives in Bowral.

I felt back home again with usual time taken up by the necessary rituals of all meetings, the passing of last meeting’s minutes, correspondence and the passing of motions. I was pleased to a positive sign emerging when a motion was passed, unanimously by the Moss Vale branch in favour of Australia being urged to also accept Palestine’s seat to the UN as an observer state. (Australia abstained from the voting in favour of Palestine even though 138 countries approved.)

The meeting closed at 10pm and there was tea, coffee and biscuits afterwards. A good meeting.

I drove home while the outside temperature was 4c. Helvi was there, nice and warm, watching the tail-end of Q&A. Milo jumped up as well.

Australia’s Dilemma with Boat-people baffling the World

July 22, 2013

Australia’s Dilemma about Boat people.

The swap to process refugees to PNG (Papua New Guinea) instead of on Australian soil is dreadful. If we are concerned about our borders, fearing that an armada of refugees will be landing, clambering over our colour bonded zinc alumed fences & stealing our women and Billabong T-shirts from the Hill’s Hoist. Where is the concern for PNG’s borders?

Not a good thing with Australia already at the bottom of overseas estimation of care for refugees.
Yes, it does improve ALP’s chances at the next election, but at a dreadful cost.
Listen to this.

The problem is ‘us’ rather than the leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott or present Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Our previous PM J.Howard knew our tolerance for the foreign/ unknown was paper-thin and smartly capitalized on it, blowing it up. He sailed into government on the back of the anti-refugee vote.

Sure, we tolerated migrants but at first only those of good and sturdy Anglo stock. We loved the introduction of mutton and cold cabbage. Devon was about as far we dared to go in culinary delights…It took years to accept the ham pierced and wrapped around the gherkin.

Even though, the owners of this nation are black, we, the whites, were quick off the mark to make and paint it as white as possible. The White Australian Policy was introduced excluding 3/4 of the world’s population from living here. Ah well, we tolerated the original owners but they did not count, did they? The indigenous were not given a vote but were gladly accepted getting killed in wars.

When the Poms decided Australia wasn’t so crash hot after all, Continental Europeans were invited (grudgingly). Reffos (refugees) were preferred to swarthy Dagos; at least they were whiter and did not eat stinking garlic and strange looking sweaty gnarled sausages.

They were expected to wholehearted embrace the ‘new country’ from the minute they arrived no matter if this arrival was being housed in corrugated sheds miles away from work, transport or populations. There were riots then as well as suicides. Did it ever cross our minds that brutalizing migrants never works?

I am just giving a short version of migrant/refugee history and this includes that ‘foreigners’ were always viewed with suspicion. They were often seen, as is still today, of raping our virtuous sheilas, stealing our jobs and watering down our Anglo yeoman culture. It was J.Howard who thought all migrants should have the basics of Cricket playing knowledge well grounded. It’s amazing they still wanted to come after that ordeal!

Today, sadly it is often the settled migrant’s siblings who are most vehemently opposed to ‘boat people’ and use the same old and tired arguments of ‘border protection’ etc, conveniently forgetting their fathers or grandmothers arrived by boats as well.

If we keep blaming the politicians we will never overcome this fear of the foreign.

Australia is one of the least populated continents in the world. The Northern Federal seat of Kennedy is twice as big as the UK and larger than Spain; it is fertile and could hold, ah well 80 million people. At present there are about a 100.000 living there. The state of Victoria is about the size of UK as well, fertile and green, could also hold 80 million. At present Victoria holds 5.3 million. So, no nation or country is better equipped to handle asylum seekers, yet no country is so vehemently opposed to welcoming refugees that come here on rickety boats.